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[24] Others are merely fatuous, such as the remark of the declaimer who urges the courtiers of Alexander to provide him with a tomb by burning down Babylon. “I am burying Alexander. Shall any man watch such a burial from his housetop?” As if this were the climax of indignities! Others fail from sheer extravagance. For example, I once heard a rhetorician who was declaiming about the Germans, say: “I know not where they carry their heads,”1 and again when belauding a hero, “He beats back whole wars with the boss of his shield.”

1 Is this a suggestion that the Germans are monsters “whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders” or that they are so tall that their heads are lost in the clouds?

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load focus Introduction (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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